Obituary of Helge Mortensen
HELGE MORTENSEN, FORMER CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD OF THE WAYNE MEMORIAL HOSPITAL, DIED JANUARY 30, 2019
Helge William Mortensen, who suffered a stroke on July 5, 2018, died peacefully at his home in Woodloch Springs on January 30, 2019. His loving wife of 34 years, Judi Mortensen, and other family members surrounded him at the time of his passing. He had been confined to his home since August being cared for by his wife. He was also being cared for by the exceptional caregivers from the Wayne Memorial Hospital Hospice. . Last year Helge and Judi moved into a house they bought at Woodloch Springs because of his failing health and they are both grateful for the wonderful help they received from the staff and Safety Services. Since the family has chosen to say their goodbyes in private, there will be not be a separate funeral or viewing.
However, rather than mourn his passing, his family would like you to join them in celebrating the good times you had with Helge at a Celebration of Life Luncheon on February 17th at the Woodloch Springs Clubhouse at 11:30 am. This day would have been Helge's 90th birthday. A cheerful, warm-hearted man with a mischievous sense of humor, he would prefer to be remembered in a joyous manner. Please call Amanda at the Woodloch Reservations desk at 570-685-8327 to be assured of seating.
Helge was born on February 17, 1929 and grew up in Elmhurst, NY (Queens). A natural born athlete, he was an avid tennis player and was scouted in his youth by a NY Yankees farm team. He turned down the offer to play baseball and decided to get a college degree instead. After serving active duty in the Korean War, Helge attended the City College of New York and graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University in NJ with a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering. He worked in the New York City, Livingston, NJ, and Perryville, NJ locations of Foster Wheeler U.S.A, Inc. for over 40 years. He started as a piping estimator, then became head of the drafting department, and held the position of senior project manager for over 30 years, responsible for the design and completion of oil refineries and chemical plants all over the world. Helge's job required him to live in Japan for almost a year working on the design and construction of a urea plant. He also lived with his wife Judi in Aurora, MI in 1985 for 7 months, improving the output of a dioxin incinerator for the EPA; and managed a multi-billion dollar contract for the Saudi Arabian government immediately after the Gulf War replacing their aging oil refineries; and implemented contracts in Italy, Mexico, and England to name a few.
He also had contracts all over the US, including commuting for 1 or 2 years each from places like Houston and Chicago, racking up a large amount of frequent flyer miles. These miles came in handy over the years when Helge and Judi traveled to Paris, London, Prague, Budapest, Aruba, St. Thomas, Barbados, and other places on their wish list. Helge retired in 1994 and moved with his wife to Rowland, Pennsylvania full-time to the 4-bedroom house on 85 acres they bought in 1987. Previously, they had spent every weekend and summer in that house, and did extensive renovations to the house and gardens. For over 22 years Helge and his wife spent 2 or 3 months each winter after he retired on Amelia Island at the Amelia Island Surf and Racquet Club in Fernandina Beach, FL. Helge played tennis seven days a week on their courts and he made many long-time friends in Florida.
His children and grandchildren will miss watching their grandfather making blueberry pancakes for them every Sunday, watching NY Giants football games or riding on his John Deere tractor, or in his old red jeep. The whole family and close friends will miss the wonderful 4th of July family reunion parties he held for the last 32 years. They will not be quite the same without him.
He spent 12 years on the board of the Wayne Memorial Hospital, the last several years as Chairman of the Board. Helge was very proud of the improvements in the hospital during his tenure and appreciated the tremendous job being done by the current administration of the hospital to provide excellent healthcare to the community. He felt privileged to be part of such a worthwhile organization,. Also involved in other activities in both Pike and Wayne Counties, and well known in the Woodloch Springs community, he made friends easily and will be missed by everyone who knew him.
Helge will be remembered in many countless ways as an outstanding, and well respected, member of the community, a good neighbor, a kind and thoughtful friend, and a loving family man. He is survived by his wife, Judi, his sons Scott, Brian, and Richard, his daughter-in-laws Jackie, Rachel, and Nina, his brother Arthur and wife Carol, his sister and brother-in-law Edith and Arthur Lynch and his sister Helen Fiorio. Helge also leaves behind 11 grandchildren, 2 great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Helge's name to the Wildflower Music Festival at the Dorflinger-Suydam Wildlife Sanctuary, P.O. Box 356, White Mills PA, 18473. Helge devoted over 30 years and a great deal of time and energy to this non-profit organization. He helped to run the Music Festival for many of those years and served as Financial Director for the Festival from 1995 to 1998.
A celebration of life will be held Sunday, February 17,2019 at 11:30 at Woodloch Springs Clubhouse, 732 Woodloch Dr, Hawley.
Cremation will be at Lake Region Crematory in Lake Ariel.